Ready for new Adventures - 28.10.–21.11 .2012 - (eng) [pics]

Wed 21 Nov 2012 12:00



13:18.07N 88:53.51W

28.10. – 21.11.2012

Boston – Miami/West Palm Beach – El Salvador

Marina / Hotel Bahia Costa del Sol


We’re almost ready to leave! Marina Bahia Costa del Sol is actually a quite nice place to hang out and get stuff done, but after almost three weeks work on Andromeda and three trips to San Salvador for dentist appointments, errants, hunts for spare parts and shopping to stock up our provisions, it’s great that time has come! And this time it’s gonna be a looooong trip. We want to cross the Pacific and plan on arriving to New Zealand in November, when Taifun season starts in the South Pacific. Other options could be to look for shelter in Fiji or go to Hawaii. I guess we’ll see when time comes.  On our way to El Salvador, we made a stop over in Miami to visit  Michael’s brother in West Palm Beach. We just missed Hurricane Sandy but came in time to admire the impressive waves washing ashore for days.

Though we mainly been busy working on Andromeda, enough has happened to reopen the blog again even before we set sails:


From up here, the waves don’t really look thaaat big. However, the fact that they are so well visible kind of implies that they are.

The weeks in Boston and Martha’s Vineyard were filled with major  renovations and other projects. So the three days in Florida were like  a mini vacation trip.


I enjoyed were much seeing the places I had only heard of from  Michael’s stories. After all, he spent his teenage years here. The waves in the background give an idea of the impressive spectacle on the beach.

The night before our flight to San Salvador, a SUV took our right

 of way and crashed into us. Our rental car was a total loss and got

 towed away. Fortunately, Michael’s brother could pick us up and help

 us to rent another one to get to the airport early next morning.


      Fortunately, we only suffered a minor whiplash and bruises

 (well, still do...) and could continue our journey with not much more

 than a huge freight that clung onto us for a few days.


Estero Jaltepeque / Costa del Sol, El Salvador. That’s were we  had left Andromeda for almost 5 months on a mooring buoy. However, most of the time it hadn’t been as idyllic and peaceful as on the picture. The rainy season is called that for a reason. Fortunately, Andromeda survived rains and storms really well and looked pretty good inside and out. At least on the first glance. It was still a lot of work to get her back into shape and ready for sailing. Also, it was a comfortable and nice place with a convenient sand bar in the estuary to careen her on:

This is how we surfed over the sandbar at the mouth of the estuary in June. Much to Michael’s disappointment, there weren’t any bigger waves to give this event are more thrilling character. I think sometimes it’s just fine if things go nice and smoothly, even if that might equal boring....

 Another lovely morning in the estuary at low tide.


The vulcano Usulutan in the background looks

much bigger in real life, though.

And here’s a short story of our biggest, most time consuming and nerve wracking project: The Generator.

We had to spent all last season without it due to unresolved  issues. Even though we had had invested almost a month in the rather unpleasant anchorage of Panama City. It’s kind of possible to live without it, but we do need it for our saltwater-freshwater maker and to run the dive compressor.

Aida invited us to her wedding mid December!

Unfortunately, we had to decline as we’ll be in Costa Rica by then

The strong and friendly guys from the marina helped us to move the 360lbs machine from the parking lot to the dock. Fortunately, we could use our main sail halyard to lift it onto the boat.

That’s where it’s gotta go, way in the aft cabin underneath the bed.

Michael’s practical mind came up with a great idea: He drilled a hole through the deck for lifting and now lowering again the machine into its hole. Still, it had to get from the cockpit into the cabin with pure  muscle power.

(Happy to say, after a few more issues, it safe in its place –  and running now!).

Stocking up in San Salvador. Who knows when we’ll have the convenience of a dock again. These big tides at the Pacific coast make shopping without the convenience of a dock a whole new experience.

Swimming eggs, and tomatoes in a waterproof bag towards the dinghy, safely anchored beyond the swell was kind of fun and adventurous the first couple of times, only.


A TV in the Jungle

 As we learned, someone had not only stolen our chained on  outboard off our stern... Our TV had been gone, too! Michael had asked the marina manager Santos if anything else had gone missing. However, we had left “sun pacs” with para-formaldehyde inside the boat to keep away critters and mold. Well, it also kept the marina from checking inside, as it is a bit stinging in eyes and nose. So only when airing the boat before our arrival, he noticed that the TV was gone.

As the story goes, the neighboring Indian families all talk and  gossip a lot, and there was word of a rather young guy who took a flat screen TV to his girlfriend hut in the jungle.

. Apparently, he and another teenager were also involved in the theft of the outboard and belong to a gang of “Pandillos”. Turns out that he’s even a cousin of our marina manager. Everybody here seems to be related with someone, though. Maybe Santos’ workers had not locked the hatches well after varnishing the floor or one of his ex workers had nicked the key. Or something else had happened.

Whatever, but according to Santos, he had informed the police that he had gotten a hint as to the whereabouts of the TV. However, they either did not believe him or couldn’t care less in regards to other more serious crimes filling their desks. So Santos went with 2 of his guys to the jungle, actually found the TV, and then made the police come and help him get it. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the outboard. But he returned the TV to its original place on Andromeda and presented us proudly this kind of peculiar story. It might as well all be true. Or not. Unfortunately, we might never now.

However, it does easily explain the weird spots on the screen. Electronics and huts in the jungle just don’t go so well together. So we acquired a new one in the city - and could barter the old one to Santos for part of his work....

Surprise, surprise. Our main sail became home to a bat family!

       Fortunately, they’re harmless and almost even kind of cute.


      But they poo a lot and smell even more. All the black streams on

 the deck is poo being hosed off the main... yakedeyack


Our only 1 year old main has now not only green stains from the

 water retention from rainy seasons, but also brown ones from, well,

 poo... Hope that sun power will bleach some of it ...


A rather unusual view of the rivermouth:


Low tides and a conveniently located sandbar

made it easy to careen Andromeda and do some bottom work.



One of my favorite exercises: up on the mast!

       The view is so spectacular, I didn’t even mind it when I had to

 go up a third time.


We finally left on the 24th and are spending our fifth night out

 on the anchor, in front of Las Flores, SV right now. Tomorrow or at

 least soon, we’ll continue to Nicaragua.